Skip to comments.Florida 6 Representative Meets With Bishop John Howard [negotiating departure]
Posted on 10/22/2005 9:09:07 AM PDT by sionnsar
JACKSONVILLE, FL (10/21/2005)--"The Rev. Neil Lebhar, Rector of the Church of the Redeemer in Jacksonville, said that the Florida Six are in the process of negotiating with Bishop Howard for a graceful exit from the Episcopal Church.
The conversation was gracious, productive and extensive, with both sides committed to negotiation rather than litigation for the sake of the gospel, said Lebhar.
"This is extremely painful for me and I am sure many others," he said in an e-mail to VirtueOnline.
Bishop Howard said he sees no signs of repentance by the Episcopal bishops that will be satisfactory to the Florida Six or too many Anglican archbishops for the actions taken at the last Episcopal Church General Convention, said Lebhar.
"Departure by many parishes will be inevitable. In the midst of that pain, I see God answering many prayers for a peaceful resolution process."
Lebhar said he and the diocese had created a transition team, looking ahead to renewing his ministry either here or on a new site, depending on the outcome of the negotiations for property.
"Our primary focus is future Christ-centered ministry together in partnership with others in the Anglican Communion. In the meantime, a bishop of the Anglican Communion Network has been asked to provide episcopal ministry. His name will be announced soon, once details of his ministry here have been finalized."
We noted that the pastoral needs of the remaining as well as departing members of congregations need to be considered, and that plans need to be agreed upon before the end of the year which tries to balance interests of the congregations and the diocese in terms of the future ministries and the properties involved.
Other congregations known as the "Florida Six" are All Souls, Jacksonville; Calvary Church, Jacksonville; Church of the Redeemer, Jacksonville; Grace Church, Orange Park; St. Luke's Community of Life, Tallahassee; and St. Michael's, Gainesville. David Dearing is an attorney working with the six congregations.
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